The All India Power Engineers’ Federation (AIPEF) has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make the Ministry of Power withdraw its “coercive directives” to the States and its power generation companies for importing coal they don’t need.
Referring to Coal and Mines Minister Prahlad Joshi’s submission in the Rajya Sabha on July 25, AIPEF chairperson Shailendra Dubey pointed out that companies should not be forced to import coal when there is no shortage in the country and domestic production in the halfway mark of the year is 31% higher than in 2021.
In the light of Mr. Joshi’s statement, the Ministry of Power should be instructed to immediately withdraw its orders forcing the State power generation companies to import 10% of their coal requirement, Mr. Dubey said in the letter dated July 26.
The Ministry of Power had on December 7, 2021, decided to import 10% of coal as the domestic supply was inadequate. On April 28 this year, it directed that the thermal power stations and State generation companies must import coal in a time-bound manner – 50% by June 30, 40% up to August 21 and 10% up to December 31.
On May 18, it issued another order stating that if blending (of imported coal) with domestic coal is not started by June 15, then the domestic allocation of the defaulter thermal power plants concerned will be further reduced by 5%.
The AIPEF said most State power companies and Central sector thermal stations were forced to give consent for import of coal. However, in light of the data presented in Parliament, these orders must be withdrawn, said Mr. Dubey. He also demanded that the extra expenditure incurred by the companies and stations in importing coal should be reimbursed or compensated.